Essay writing for many students is a boring activity. But once you start preparing yourself mentally to write great academic essays, you start seeing the development of a natural flair inside you. Writing essays is a good exercise for developing your creativity, imagination, and the ability to organize your thoughts effectively. The most important thing here is to know the ideal college essay format to create a winning essay for your application.

College Essay Format

The role of an essay in your college application

As a student, writing essays is an essential part of your academic life. This is one reason why most colleges would require you to write a college application letter as this demonstrates the clarity of your mind.

An examiner who reads your essay as an applicant can already learn a lot about you from it. Aside from considering the admission essay format in your application, you should also consider the following:

  • Writing the content.
  • Proofreading your essay before submission.
  • Making revisions as needed.

If you can grab the attention of the examiner, it’s important to follow a specific format to make your essay stand out.

How many paragraphs should a college essay be?

While there are guidelines to follow for a college application essay format, there is no defined standard on how long a college essay should be. For instance, it could be as short as 200 words but the substance spells the difference between a “yes” and a “maybe” when considering your application. If you want to make a short essay, make sure it has amazing content.

College Application Essay Format

How do you start a college essay?

There are various styles and techniques you can use when starting to write your college essay format. This depends on your personality and how you plan to compose the rest of the essay. Here are some suggestions to consider for the task ahead.

  • Full Hemingway
    This involves image-based descriptions that focus on particular moments. The essay won’t explain much – at least not in the beginning and this style can potentially catch the attention of the reader. It allows for actions, details or dialogue to speak for themselves.
  • Mini-Hemingway
    This is a shorter version of the previous style where you only use between 1 to 3 sentences to focus on one particular moment. Then you follow this up with another sentence that comments on, explains or in provides context for what you’re describing.
  • Twist
    This style is almost like a suspense novel where you begin with information that builds up certain expectations about you before taking the reader to a surprise direction. Use this style if you know how to follow through with the rest of your admission essay format.
  • Philosophical Question
    Here, you pose a question that you won’t and probably can’t answer. This is to demonstrate how your brilliant mind works and how you can get the reader hooked as they explore possible solutions or answers to your question.
  • Trailer Thesis
    For this style, you conceptualize in 1 to 2 sentences by giving the reader a sneak peek at what comes next in your essay. In doing so, you won’t give away the outcome.
  • Random Personal Fun Fact
    This one begins with you sharing an interesting fact about yourself for the purpose of grabbing the attention of the reader. Later, you explain the relevance of the fact you shared.
  • Shocking Image
    You reveal an incredibly arresting and specific sentence or image which attracts the attention of the reader. Then you explain why this revelation matters.

How to format a college essay?

Font type and size are important when writing an essay. When following the standard college essay format, it’s recommended to choose a 12pt font with the Times New Roman style. These options are universally accepted for almost all types of academic papers. Apart from the fonts, pay attention to the following formatting guidelines:

  • Margins
    For the margins, it’s recommended to have 1-inch margins on all sides of the pages you use. If you’re working with Microsoft Word, follow these steps:
    In the Page Layout tab, click Margins.
    Choose Normal as this sets the default margin you need for your essay.
  • Paragraphs
    Create a college essay template using double line spacing. Using Microsoft Word, follow these steps:
    Highlight a paragraph then right-click on it.
    Choose Paragraph then go to the Indents and Spacing tab.
    Choose Line Spacing then Double.
  • Page Headers
    Place the page headers in the upper-left corner of the page. Just make sure to add indentations so that the lines will hey justified to the left-hand side. Setting the type of justification you need in Microsoft Word is easy.
    Moreover, the heading format that you use in your essay should follow these rules:
    The first line of the header must contain your full name.
    The next line must contain the full name of your course instructor or teacher.
    Next, input the title of your essay.
    The last line must contain your submission date.

College Essay Templates

How do you write a college application essay?

There really isn’t a working formula that could come up with the perfect admission essay. There are, however, pointers you can follow to produce a written document with the proper college essay format that leaves a lasting impression on any examiner. Here are some helpful tips for you:

  • Describe yourself
    The main purpose of this essay is for the admission committee to learn more about you through your achievements, personality, goals, trials, passions, character, and values.
  • Make sure your essay flows well
    The admission committee will look for an in-depth essay. This means that you have to concentrate on a single topic. If you cover too many things, you might end up with a very long essay.
  • Highlight the good things about you
    Apart from having the proper college application essay format, the information you present should be highly substantial. Share things that colleges want to know when evaluating applications. Never include anything that puts you in a bad light unless you have no choice.
  • Check your spelling and grammar
    You might have the ability to fluently write an essay but this doesn’t mean that there is no need to proofread your work. Don’t depend entirely on your computer’s spell-check as there are instances where you might have typed a wrong word but spelled it correctly. Go over your essay for errors and if possible, let a friend double-check your essay before you submit.